Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure.
This week's edition covers news from Saturday, March 10, 2012 to Friday, March 16, 2012 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA Impact Wrestling News
- Ask WNW
- A new WWE referee made their television debut on this week's Raw Supershow. Brian Nguyen was the official in Eve vs. Alicia Fox. Nguyen has officiated the past couple of years in Florida Championship Wrestling as Ryan Tran.
- Madusawrote on Facebook that she recently got a call from WWE. Apparently the company wants to interview her for material for the WWE Network although she didn't reveal the details behind the call. Madusa, also known as Alundra Blayze, is a monster truck driver and former WWE Women's Champion. She infamously threw the WWF Women's Championship belt in the trash can on a live edition of WCW Monday Nitro.
- GameBandits.com has an article on Angela Fong (formerly Savannah) and David Hart Smith doing motion capture work for the new WWE '13 video game. Fong worked in WWE's developmental system from 2008 to 2010 and had brief roles on ECW and WWE NXT as a member of the broadcast team. She was released from WWE in June 2010. Smith was released from his WWE contract in August 2011 after a run that saw him reign as a tag team champion with Tyson Kidd. You can read coverage by GameBandits.com and view a photo of Fong and Smith at this link.
- The official WWE website announced today that WrestleMania XXVIII will be available for purchase as a stream on iPhone and iPad. Reservations for purchasing the show are now being accepted on the website. Click here for more information.
- The official WWE website has been redesigned. The homepage has an increased focus on social networking, including a Twitter feed of WWE talent at the bottom. In addition, each Superstar's roster page has been redesigned, a new comments section has been added, and more. The new Classics section also includes classic clips and matches from the WWE video library, as well as full-length matches such as Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 and John Cena vs. CM Punk at Money in the Bank.Click here to see the new design.
- WWE aired video promos from World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton at yesterday's Smackdown live event in Kalamazoo, Michigan, promoting their main event match for the evening that also included Big Show.
- The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox were filmed at The Grove in Los Angeles last Thursday for a segment on "Extra" with Maria Menounos. The footage is expected to air on tonight's episode. Check your local listings for time and channel.
- SLAM! Wrestling has a new article online covering yesterday's WWE Raw live event from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. Click here to read it.
- Fighters.com has a new article online where Trish Stratus speaks out on sex appeal in women's MMA. You can read it at this link.
- The new prospective launch date for the WWE Network is the first week of December 2012. I am told there are "many" in WWE who thought there were several advantages to launching the day of Wrestlemania XXVIII but that it was simply too soon for a viable launch. With the new date being so far into 2012, there is more and more thought being given to waiting until next year and launching the network on April 7, 2013 (the day of Wrestlemania XXIX. Vince McMahon is said to be against it and feels the network needs to launch as soon as it can be ready. One source says Vince doesn't want to have any more egg on his face than he already has from the numerous delays. My source, who is close to the WWE's thinking on the WWE Network, isn't overly optimistic the company will meet the December launch date. If it doesn't happen and gets pushed into next year, April 7, 2013 might become to new date. While Vince is against it, his position could change with all of the arguments made for a Wrestlemania launch of the WWE Network. However, Vince is "pretty determined" to roll out the network before the end of the year.
- WWEannounced via a "legal letter" from the "Board of Directors" that there will be a six-on-six 12-Man Tag Team match at Wrestlemania XXVIII to determine whether the control of the brands will go to Teddy Long or John Laurinaitis. Teams will be announced on television leading up to Wrestlemania.
- GameBandits.com is reporting that THQ will not release the prospective WWE Brawl video game title this year. The company reportedly confirmed in a Tweet to one of their followers that they are "focused strictly" on WWE '13.
- WWE NXT Rookie Jacob Novak has resurfaced talking about how much WWE developmental workers are paid. Below is an excerpt from an interview he did with HawkeyeNews.net:
“Wrestlers get paid way less than people think,” he explained. “I started out making only 500 dollars a week for the FCW. It’s just kind of weird to have thousands and thousands of twitter followers, and to get fan mail daily, yet receive tiny paychecks.” Novak was always hoping for that next big break.
Novak noted he was released from WWE when it was indefinite how long rehabilitation from a hip injury would take. You can read the full interview at this link.
- Mark Henry is being advertised in a match against John Cena for the May 5, 2012 WWE Raw live event from the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio is also advertised. Don't read too much into this, however, the currently creative mindset is worth noting.
- Former TNA star Chase Stevens is backstage at tonight's WWE Raw Supershow in Cleveland, Ohio. Stevens is best known for his work with Andy Douglas as the tag team The Naturals. He has had WWE tryouts in the past.
- Chris Jericho is scheduled to appear on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on March 21, 2012. Expect him to be promoting Wrestlemania XXVIII as the show airs at 12:35 AM EDT on NBC.
- Seth Rollins beat Michael McGillicutty in a dark match prior to tonight's WWE Raw Supershow taping from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Rollins, formerly known as Tyler Black in Ring of Honor, was on the road with the Smackdown crew this weekend.
- I'm told tonight's Raw Supershow is a legit sellout and it's one of the biggest crowds since LeBron James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. 9:02 PM EDT Update:Michael Cole announced the attendance as 18,289.
- Santino Marella is the "captain" of Teddy Long's team for the 12-Man Tag Team match announced today for Wrestlemania XXVIII. David Otunga is the "captain" of John Laurinaitis' team and is joined by Mark Henry. While not officially announced, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are expected to join Santino on Team Long
- WWE has moved the May 29th Smackdown taping to the River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The original location was the Cajun Dome in Lafayette.
- Brodie Lee has signed a developmental contract with WWE. Lee is best known for his work in Dragon Gate USA.
- Brodus Clay returned to WWE television on tonight's edition of Raw Supershow. Clay was unceremoniously pulled from television due to reported behavioral problems backstage. Clay went over Jinder Mahal in his return match.
- WWE is finally acknowledging the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction of Mil Mascaras. You can view his official Hall of Fame profile at this link.
- The following has already been announced for next week's WWE Raw Supershow:
* Triple H, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels all in the same ring.
* Mark Henry vs. John Cena
Next week's WWE Raw Supershow will take place from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- John Cena confirmed after Raw Supershow went off the air last night that Machine Gun Kelly will perform him theme song at Wrestlemania XXVIII. We first reported Cena would enter to "Invincible" by Machine Gun Kelly on February 3, 2012 here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- The Chicago Tribune has a new quote from WWE Champion CM Punk about the filming of WWE's new DVD on him. Below is the blurb in its entirety:
No place like home: WWE Champion and Lockport native CM Punk has begun filming for his upcoming WWE DVD and expects the cameras to continue rolling through the Extreme Rules pay per view at the Allstate Arena April 29. “I think (WWE) wanted to do a ‘Road to Wrestlemania’ DVD,” Punk told me Thursday. “I was like ‘Who gives a s*** (about the road to Wrestlemania)?’ The pay per view after Wrestlemania is in Chicago. That was a no brainer to me – coming home. The last day of filming will probably be the pay per view. I’ll get my sisters in there and (Colt) Cabana.”
- The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Booker T. In it, he provides good advice to younger talent. Below is an excerpt:
“Of course, we’re friends, but this is a business, and you’ve got to go out there and treat it like a business. You’ve got to think about being better than the next guy. These young guys really got to focus, if they want to work at the top of the card, if they want to be in that main event, if they want to carry the World title, if they want to be the WWE champion. They’ve got to really put their thinking cap on and really focus on what it’s going to take for them to get in that position. It’s a test each and every day.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- WWE announced the following live event dates today:
- May 6th from the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina
- May 13th from the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio
The WWE Divas are shooting an angle with Maria Menounos from "Extra" today in Los Angeles. Road Dogg, who works a producer backstage in WWE, Tweeted the following this morning:
- Interbridge.com is reporting that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be a guest on "Live with Kelly" on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.
- Ted DiBiase underwent successful shoulder surgery today. DiBiase is currently out with an ankle injury but since he is out, he had surgery performed on a nagging problem with his shoulder. DiBiase posted the following on Twitter:
- WWE executive Ty Bailey has been released from his contract. Bailey worked in Talent Relations under John Laurinaitis. Bailey joined WWE in 2005 and had worked in the National Football League. His duties in WWE included overseeing the developmental system and booking extras for television tapings.
- Jack Swagger will be at Kmart tomorrow in Miami to promote Wrestlemania XXVIII. The store is located at 3825 7th St. NW in the Central Shopping Center as Swagger will be signing autographs for the first 300 attendees, beginning at 6 PM EDT. The Miami Herald has more information available at this link.
- 2012 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Mike Tyson has been added to Wrestlemania Fan Axxess. Tyson will appear on March 30th from 8-10 PM EDT at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Click here for more information on dot com.
- WWE is returning to Mexico in May. Below are the advertised dates:
- May 24th - Multipurpose Centre in Hermosillo
- May 25th - Monumental Bullring in Aguascalientes
- May 26th - Vicente Fernandez Gomez Arena in Guadalajara
- WWE Chief Financial Officer Georg Barrios presented WWE's business model at the 24th Annual ROTH Conference today in California. You can listen to his presentation at this link.
Unless you just want to listen, I only found a couple of tidbits newsworthy:
* Barrios said WWE is currently in negotiations regarding the WWE Network but he didn't want to say anything that would cause them to lose leverage in them.
* He continued to downplay UFC as competition and admitted that WWE Studios was a disaster in 2011. Barrios said they are looking to expand merchandise revenue in India as they aren't generating anything despite a strong television deal in the country.
- WWE ran a story on dot com today that former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson and her boyfriend Alex Rodriguez will be in attendance at Wrestlemania XXVIII in Miami on April 1, 2012. You can read their coverage at this link.
- FOX 8 Cleveland has a story online with a video on John Cena meeting a 12-year-old cancer patient at Raw Supershow on Monday night. You can read the story at this link. (Thanks to WNW Reader D Laiosa for sending this in.)
- To follow-up on Chase Stevens who was backstage at Monday's Raw Supershow in Cleveland, he had a private tryout at the Quicken Loans Arena in front of producers prior to the taping. Stevens is best known for his work with Andy Douglas as the tag team The Naturals in TNA.
- Scott Hall is once again out of rehab and has been home for about a week. However, I'm told he has already relapsed and friends that have spoken to him on the phone since he got home have said he's called them while clearly inebriated. Reports surfaced yesterday that Hall was released from rehab on March 7, 2012 and was doing "fine" but I am told by a source close to Hall otherwise. WWE footed the bill for Hall's rehab as they continue to spend more money on him than any other current or former star for rehab.
- Variety is reporting that WWE and Lionsgate are teaming up for two new films. The first is a reboot of "Leprechaun," the 1993 horror pic that was one of the first starring roles for Jennifer Aniston. While there is currently no writer, director or cast attached to the project, it is set for a 2013 release. Details on the second film have not yet been determined. Variety also reported on other upcoming projects by WWE Studios including "No One Lives," starring Luke Evans and Brodus Clay, "Barricade," starring Eric McCormack and "The Day." WWE teamed with Lionsgate before for "See No Evil" starring Kane and "The Condemned" starring Steve Austin.
- WWE sent a message to subscribers to their premium text-message alerts that the service will end on March 30, 2012.
- The reason Jim Neidhart was held in contempt of court yesterday was due to an outburst while he was being sentenced on drug, theft and burglary charges from an arrest in September 2010. Neidhart was sentenced to five months and 29 days in jail and is still being held in jail as of this writing.
- The WWE angle on today's "Extra" featured a confrontation between host Maria Menounos, Kelly Kelly, Eve and WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix. Beth and Eve came out while Maria was interviewing Kelly Kelly. Eve and Beth demanded that Maria interview them when she reminded them that Kelly Kelly beat Beth the last time she faced her. This led to Beth grabbing Maria by the chin before security broke it up. It looks like there are plans to Maria Menounos & Kelly Kelly vs. WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve at Wrestlemania XXVIII.
- Following the angle shot on today's edition of Extra, the official WWE website has officially announced that Kelly Kelly & Extra host Maria Menounos will face Beth Phoenix & Eve at WrestleMania XXVIII. Click here to view the announcement. WrestleMania XXVIII will take place on April 1, 2012 from SunLife Stadium in Miami, Florida. Wrestling News World will have full coverage of the event.
- John Morrison popped up on a FunnyorDie.com video with Weird Al. You can watch at this link.
- WWE has added the following dates to their schedule:
- Smackdown taping on May 15, 2012 from the GIANT Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania
- Supershow live event on June 16, 2012 from the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts
TNA Impact Wrestling News
- TNA Impact Wrestling put out the following in conjunction with the Joseph Park storyline:
Thursday's IMPACT WRESTLING on SpikeTV saw the arrival of Mr. Joseph Park, Esq. It seems Abyss has a brother - and Mr. Park is determined to find his whereabouts. Unfortunately, Mr. Park was unable to uncover any information on Thursday, but he promised to continue his efforts and is planning to return this week.
Joseph Park has requested that anyone with information regarding his brother Abyss (Chris Park) to please send him a message on Twitter @Josephpark_esq
Mr. Park stated he will post updates as information becomes available on the search for his brother, Abyss.
- TNA Impact Wrestling is coming back to my neck of the woods… this time for a Basebrawl live event. TNA will hold a Basebrawl live event from the Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia on Friday, August 17, 2012.
- TNA has posted more details about Jeff Jarrett making an appearance in "Spring Breakers" starring Selena Gomez, James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens on their official website. The film is set to be released in 2013. The official website reports Jarrett has been filming scenes throughout the Tampa, Florida area and includes a photo of him with Selena Gomez. You can read their coverage at this link.
- Road Warrior Animal had a lot to say about Sting on the most recent episode of Extreme Pro Wrestling Radio on KFAN Sports Radio FM 100.3. In it, he credits Ric Flair for helping get Sting over and says Icon is a strong word to describe him. He also stated he feels Sting should put his pride aside and come to WWE.
- Jesse Sorensen posted the following on Twitter:
- TNA has announced their Destination X pay-per-view will take place on Sunday, July 8, 2012 from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
- The following is from the official Twitter account of James Storm:
- As arrogant as Eric Bischoff can come off this could just be his attempt to rib the Internet, so take this for what its worth and nothing more but Bischoff posted the following on his Facebook page:
Just had a beer here in Nashville. Bartender asked me I worked for the boss "Jeremy Borash". When I asked "WTF" that was supposed to mean, I was told emphatically that Jeremy has represented himself as an "owner" of TNA. Jeremy is a low rent bit player who should be fortunate he has a job.
- Magnus posted the following today on Twitter in response to Eric Bischoff'scomments regarding Jeremy Borash:
Again, Bischoff is the type of guy to get the Internet buzzing then turnaround and laugh so don't overanalyze his comments. Maybe he is that arrogant but it could also be one big inside joke. - Jesse Sorensen, who is recovering from a broken neck he suffered at last month's TNA Against All Odds pay-per-view, wrote the following on Twitter:
- Brother Devon, who has been off Impact Wrestling television lately, is booked against Gunner at this week's TNA live events in Biloxi, Mississippi and Pensacola, Florida.
- TNA announced the following news live event date for May:
Bakersfield, CA will host the IMPACT WRESTLING World Tour on Saturday, May 5 at Rabobank Arena at 7:30pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 23 at http://ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Fans that purchase a $50 ticket will receive a special meet and greet with IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars at 5:30pm (redeemable with ticket the night of the show). Appearing live and in person will be Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Gail Kim and more!
- TNA Impact Wrestling has announced a BaseBrawl live event from the Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky on August 18, 2012. Tickets are set to go on sale on May 4, 2012.
Will Randy Orton be turning heel anytime soon or has he turned into the Smackdown version of John Cena?
Randy Orton is currently working as a babyface and is the top guy on Smackdown. If you are comparing Orton to John Cena in that sense, he is "Smackdown's John Cena" although I'm not much for that comparison. Orton has transitioned from heel to babyface a couple of times in his career and has been successful in each role. He's look at as the number two guy in the company behind Cena and is able to work whatever role the creative team needs. Right now it appears that he has stepped into the Wrestlemania XXVIII program that was rumored to be pitched for Mark Henry (as the company considered continuing his push as a babyface). I don't know what the future holds for Orton but it's a pretty safe bet he'll be competing for the World Heavyweight Championship after Wrestlemania.
Does TNA Impact Wrestling have a Wellness Policy like WWE?
No, TNA Impact Wrestling's drug testing is nothing like that of WWE. They do test, however, the failures do not usually result in disciplinary action and there is no "strike system" like there is in WWE. Furthermore they do not release the names of those that fail drug tests and do not offer all the WWE Wellness Policy has to offer.
How likely is it that Kurt Angle would end up back in WWE? He has been loyal to TNA and Dixie Carter but last year I heard a rumor that his contract was about to expire and he was thinking of going back to WWE, but with all that said would it be likely he could end up in WWE over the next few years or still remain in TNA?
Kurt Angle signed a new three-year contract with TNA Impact Wrestling in September 2011. Apparently he considered another WWE run but I don't know how much interest there was in him and if any actual negotiating ever took place. Angle is happy with his spot in TNA and enjoys his salary while he pursues outside interests.
Would WWE terminate a main event worker if they had three Wellness Test violations?
Under the WWE Wellness Policy, any talent with three failures would be terminated. There have been conspiracy theories about the lack of top stars that have failed Wellness Tests, however, it's not my job to examine those theories. You can look at a list of all of the names WWE has announced that have failed Wellness tests since November 1, 2007 at this link.
Do you believe that the CM Punk craze has worn off like the Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin craze in their respective sports?
This is an interesting prospective, as I've never thought about it like that before. CM Punk is not currently at the level he was this summer. Punk peaked at Money in the Bank in July and has leveled off to where he is now. He has clearly established himself as a main event talent and he's not going back to the mid-card like he did after previous title reigns. Punk was the Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin of the summer but it's "breakout moments" like this that demand the attention of the public. The key is getting the public's attention and being able to keep it for as long as possible. He made everyone take notice and advanced his career because of it. Being WWE Champion at Wrestlemania is a very desirable position but the show is being centered around two main events - John Cena vs. The Rock and The Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee. WWE is giving these matches priority which is why you may notice a lack of hype for Punk vs. Chris Jericho.
Do you think that Jim Ross should indeed commentate at Wrestlemania XXVIII like he did last year?
If it were up to me, Jim Ross would still be the "voice of WWE" and would still be the play-by-play man of Raw Supershow alongside his long-time broadcast colleague Jerry Lawler. It wasn't JR's decision to leave broadcasting and it's Vince McMahon that has implemented the new direction. I think just about everyone would rather see Jim Ross than Michael Cole but unfortunately it's not our decision to make. So to answer your question, yes I think JR should work Wrestlemania.
I saw you reported that Brodus Clay was pulled from WWE television because of behavioral issues backstage. Do you see him getting a match at Wrestlemania XXVIII?
"Take two" on the push of Brodus Clay began last night on Raw Supershow. Clay was pulled from WWE television due to behavioral problems backstage. You can read my exclusive report about the heat here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium. I haven't heard of any Wrestlemania XXVIII plans involving Clay but keep in mind he has yet to have a feud and is just squashing enhancement workers for recognition to get the gimmick over.
Should WWE bring back single brand pay-per-views? It would build up feuds and underutilized talent on each brand would get a bit of exposure.
From the moment WWE tried the single-branded pay-per-views for their B-level pay-per-views I knew they wouldn't work (remember the big four were still combined). The pay-per-view landscape has gotten even more competitive now with the growth of UFC and WWE is struggling with buys with the brands combined. If it didn't work before, why would it work now? There's just not enough talent to make people spend big money on only half the stars of the company. WWE's attempt to make the B-level pay-per-views more relevant was started a couple years ago when they started running the gimmick shows.
Is WWE holding off on who will be in the 12-man tag match because they are waiting until the last moment to see if guys like Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio and Christian will be able to compete? Also, what do you think the chances are of Evan Bourne competing in the match?
Every name you mentioned has been linked to the 12-man tag team match at Wrestlemania XXVIII in some fashion. One of the names you mentioned was confirmed at last night's Smackdown taping but I don't want to spoil it here. To read happened at last night's taping, click here.
After about a month off television, Brodus Clay comes back and that's what we get? Really?! The character is running it's course pretty quickly with no real direction. So what, if anything, is next for the Funkasaurus? He's got to feud with someone, right?
This is how WWE builds a new gimmick, they put it over in squash matches to gauge crowd reactions. How the crowd reacts will determine where the gimmick goes from there. Brodus Clay wasn't randomly pulled from TV, there were circumstances regarding the decision which I discussed in yesterday's Ask WNW. It's basically "take two" on Brodus Clay so forget everything that happened before this week and we'll see where it goes from here.
With The Undertaker wearing a hood on Monday's Raw Supershow is he really bald?
The Undertaker shaved his head last year and his hair had not grown out long enough. WWE had him return in a wig but it looked really bad. The hood has been used since the terrible wig and I don't know where they plan on going from here but clearly Undertaker's hair is part of the build in his Hell in a Cell match against Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee.
We always hear about what Vince McMahon likes in a superstar - big marketable look. This might sound like a stupid question but how much does McMahon appreciate a solid technical wrestling match?
Vince McMahon knows a good performer from a bad one, however, he also understands the business part of the business. It was The Rock that pointed out a couple weeks ago that a lot of the boys today don't get the "business" part of the wrestling business. What I think The Rock was talking about is Vince understands how to make money. You have to understand that great technical wrestling is only a part of what makes WWE popular. McMahon wants the entire family engaged in his product because what's more profitable? Serving one in a household or the entire household plus animals? As much as I would like to see every show loaded with dream wrestling-heavy match-ups, it wouldn't get over with WWE's mainstream fan base.
When will the 2012 WWE Draft be held?
The last I heard there were plans to hold the 2012 WWE Draft "some time this spring." I haven't heard a firm date but I would expect it to follow the formats of years past with the actual Draft taking place live on WWE Raw Supershow followed by a Supplemental Draft over on dot com.
If Mark Henry is supposed to be going through a gimmick transition to a babyface, why is he on Team Laurinaitis for Wrestlemania XXVIII?
A babyface push was pitched for Mark Henry at the beginning of the year but as I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, Henry was "completely against it." There was talk of doing Henry vs. Kane but I have speculated that Henry's discontent could have been the reason why Randy Orton was given the Wrestlemania program with Kane while Henry was put in the 12-man tag match. Henry has worked very hard this past year and certainly deserves the pay-per-view bonus.
With The Miz without Wrestlemania match do you think he will be involved in The Rock vs. John Cena?
WWE used John Cena vs. The Miz last year to build to John Cena vs. The Rock this year and the popular speculative theory lately is to have The Miz interfere in this year's main event. I can't confirm this theory but feel confident The Miz will appear at Wrestlemania in some fashion.
What are your thoughts on the change to Raw as Raw Supershow?
The transition to Raw Supershow will be seven months old at the end of this month and I have been pleased with the results. Making Raw a "permanent supershow" gives the company the best of both worlds - the brand extension remains intact (giving much needed opportunities for newer workers) while making sure talent from both brands get maximum exposure on the live flagship show. Smackdown has performed very well in the ratings and I am sure WWE attributes some of that to Smackdown bringing Raw's audience over. One of the things Triple H has done since being promoted to an executive is push for a flow from Raw to Smackdown back to Raw.
Recently we've heard the WWE Board of Directors mentioned on both Raw and Smackdown. Is there such a board? If so, how many members and who is it comprised of?
There is a WWE Board of Directors, however, the stuff mentioned on WWE television is storyline and not really determined by the board. The material shown on television comes from the creative team and not the board. You can read who the Board of Directors are at this link and who the Executive Officers in WWE are at this link.
With what unfortunately happened to Kharma and her child, how has the WWE office reacted to that? Are they allowing her the take indefinite time off, during the grieving process, and has it affected her standing in the company?
The tragic situation with Kharma has been very secretive. Kharma told many people, even friends, that she delivered a healthy baby boy. I am sure the WWE office is working with her and are patient regarding a possible return. For those hoping for a return feud against Beth Phoenix for Wrestlemania XXVIII, that will not happen as Beth has been announced for a tag match which you can read about here.
Where is Vince McMahon? Is it too much to ask for him to make an annual appearance for Wrestlemania? When he does show up he phones it in. What is going on with him?
Vince McMahon is as busy as ever, working backstage at all WWE television tapings and in the office when he isn't on the road. I actually think the Mr. McMahon character is well played and I can't remember a specific time he's "phoned it in." Some workers could learn a lot from McMahon and how he portrays himself in front of the camera. As for an annual appearance at Wrestlemania, the character can be useful but it can also be overdone. I have been surprised McMahon hasn't played a part in the GM situation with John Laurinaitis but it's not over yet.
Why does Vince McMahon and the WWE want mainstream exposure for their company? I don't see what they get out of it and as much as I know, the media will just forget about them like 5 seconds later.
Any time WWE can generate attention from the mainstream media, it's free promotion. WWE embraces any opportunity they can to draw a buzz from the mainstream media and get their product in front of as many eyes as possible. On the flip side, WWE tries to limit negative attention at all costs.
I think Daniel Bryan's character has evolved really well, I wasn't sure at first but now I absolutely love his heel character. Do you think WWE will risk Sheamus becoming World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania?
If I were booking Wrestlemania and had to book a title change, I would put Chris Jericho over CM Punk for the WWE Championship before I would put Sheamus over Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship. Punk is clearly established and a loss to Jericho wouldn't hurt him. While WWE has shown more confidence in Bryan than I thought they would when he first won the title back in December, a Wrestlemania win would really help solidify his main event position.